The holidays are generally centered around traditions. These traditions usually consist of holiday parties, site-seeing, decorating, cooking traditional foods, and baking delicious treats. This can often trigger anxious thoughts when you are making a healthier lifestyle change. Will your loved ones be upset when traditional dishes are altered? Or perhaps you’re not making your famous fudge. Maybe you are worried your family will question why you are skipping the mashed potatoes and gravy, or why you are only eating one slice of pie instead of two. For whatever reason, these feelings can be quite challenging. This holiday season, focus on your goals and keeping yourself motivated. Here are some helpful tips to communicate with your loved ones and gain support along this journey!
Use the Sandwich Method
If you find yourself constantly hearing comments from family members, friends, and coworkers during the holiday season, there is a creative way to go about responding to them. The sandwich method allows you to politely let the person know that you appreciate them thinking of you and showing their concern but you are still going to focus on yourself and your goals. A simple and effective way to do this is to compliment them for showing interest in your health and wellness, let them know you won’t change your mind about your decision, and then thank them again for their concern. An example of this would be if someone pressures you to eat a slice of their pie you may reply with “Your pie looks amazing, I’m trying to stick to my health goals, but thanks for offering and caring” By doing this, you are making your needs met in a very respectful and caring manner.
Show Affection and Appreciation in Other Ways
If you are preparing a meal for your family or attending a family member’s dinner party, you may feel pressured to make specific dishes that go along with past traditions. Food is a common sign to show appreciation and respect toward family members, especially during the holiday season. If you know that a specific dish during the holiday season causes you to overeat year after year, consider showing affection and appreciation in other ways instead of preparing the dish. You may want to bring a nice gift over to their house instead of a food item. Bringing a gift such as flowers, or their favorite scented candle is a nice way to show that you respect their hard work, appreciate them hosting the meal, and are still focused on your goals and making your own needs met.
Educate Your Close Friends and Family
Those not on a weight loss journey may not understand your goals or way of eating. Avoid the confrontation, by educating them on your journey. If they are curious as to why you are making certain decisions around your eating habits and food choices you can explain to them what your goals are. By doing this, you are enlisting them as a support system and asking them to respect and understand why you are making the decisions you are making. You may be surprised at the amount of help and support you will receive when people understand the reason behind your actions this season!
The next time you feel as if someone is being confrontational with you, remember to focus on some of these tips. By practicing these tips, you can continue to focus on your goals without the added stress and worry from others.